Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Prepare For Another Pandemic, COVID-19 Won’t Be The Last For World, UN warns

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The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called on countries of the world to prepare for the next pandemic as COVID-19 will not be the last.

Guterres said this in his message late on Monday to mark the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, which was held on December 27 to advocate the importance of prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in systems to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

The first-ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness was held last year, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) working closely with governments to support efforts to build strong emergency and epidemic preparedness systems, as part of an overall approach to advance universal health coverage and strengthen primary healthcare systems.

The UN boss said: “COVID-19 demonstrated how quickly an infectious disease can sweep across the world, push health systems to the brink, and upend daily life for all of humanity.

“It also revealed our failure to learn the lessons of recent health emergencies like SARS, avian influenza, Zika, Ebola and others. And it reminded us that the world remains woefully unprepared to stop localised outbreaks from spilling across borders and spiralling into a global pandemic.

“COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic humanity will face. Infectious diseases remain a clear and present danger to every country.

“As we respond to this health crisis, we need to prepare for the next one. This means scaling-up investments in better monitoring, early detection and rapid response plans in every country — especially the most vulnerable.

“It means strengthening primary healthcare at the local level to prevent collapse. It means ensuring equitable access to life-saving interventions like vaccines for all people.

“And it means achieving Universal Health Coverage. Most of all, it means building global solidarity to give every country a fighting chance to stop infectious diseases in their tracks.”

The UN boss added that by building global solidarity, every country would have a fighting chance “to stop infectious diseases in their tracks.”

Earlier in the month, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcomed the decision of a special session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the UN agency’s top decision-making body to develop a new global accord on pandemic prevention and response.

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